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Monday, April 18, 2011

Writing for the Arboretum

photo by Parvin

I volunteer at the Arboretum, the State Botanical Garden of Kentucky.  As a member of the committee for the Children’s Garden, I am awarded opportunities to write for children.   

Recently, the director needed a brochure for children about the rose garden.  The challenge:  design a brochure that was educational and entertaining for children.   Since this would be like the nonfiction articles I write for children, I embraced the task.  Using several Arboretum brochures as guides, I developed four pages (which may be edited by the director).  I placed the Arboretum logo at the top of the first page.  Underneath the logo I placed an image of a velvet-petaled crimson rose.  Beneath the photo, I added a funny poem about a rosebush and an oak tree written by Shel Silverstein. 

On the second page, I used an image of a garden with rows and trellises of blooming roses.  Under the photo, I listed six columns each designated with a color:  red, pink, yellow, purple, white, or orange.  The director will fill in the columns with the names of roses that correlate to the color category.  

The third page shows a diagram of flower parts and follows with a brief history of the naming of roses. Near the center of the page is an outline of a rose that children can color, and then name.  On the last page is Arboretum contact information, followed by fun facts about roses.  For instance, did you know: 

Barbara Streisand, Whoopi Goldberg, and Rosie O'Donnell each have a rose named for them.
In 1986, then President Ronald Reagan signed legislation making the rose the official National Flower of the United States.
Writing for children doesn’t have to be restricted to writing stories.  Look for opportunities to write for young ones at children’s museums, libraries, nature centers, and more.  What other ways can you share your writing with kids?  

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